Courtesy of The Franklin Institute

The City of Brotherly Love is tailor made for families.

January 13, 2014

The phrase “life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness” was first coined in Philadelphia—and aptly, the city is full of happy pursuits, from fun science exhibits to housemade gelato.

Please Touch Museum

This hands-on learning museum is perfect for a family outing. Playing is encouraged throughout the two floors of exhibits, as is touching, smelling and enjoying the general spleandor of each unique piece of art on display.

Capogiro Gelato Artisans

Located between Chestnut and Walnut Streets, this family-run gelato shop uses hormone-free milk from grass-fed cows to make its chilled Italian dessert, which has about half the fat of ice cream. Each day, the shop makes the gelato fresh from scratch, sourcing many of the ingredients locally, like Lancaster County pears and pumpkins. Daily flavors may include the simple Cucumber Sorbetto, the Cachi gelato flavored with persimmon, or the Cioccolato Messicano flavoroed with spicy Mexican chocolate, bitter almonds, ancho chilis, and chipotle peppers. Opened in 2002, the corner café also serves coffees, winter soups, and panini.

Four Seasons Hotel, Philadelphia

This eight-story granite hotel has a central location on Logan Square—the city’s cultural heart—plus the best spa in town. The staff goes out of its way to welcome kids, giving them a free present from the toy wagon upon arrival and free milk and cookies at bedtime.

Franklin Institute

The walk-through, pulsing model of the human heart at this well-heeled science emporium is macabre enough to enchant children. Other exhibits include a replica space research station and a working steam locomotive.

El Vez

This colorful space serves delicious house-made guacamole and has a wall lined with hundreds of tiny Day of the Dead figurines.

Liberty Bell

The Liberty Bell is exhibited at Independence National Historic Park inside Liberty Bell Center. The pavilion that houses it has interpretive exhibits, including an X-ray that reveals the bell's famous crack and a film documenting how it became a symbol of liberty. There's no admission charge or ticket required to see the Liberty Bell, though a ticket is needed to tour Independence Hall. All visitors to Liberty Bell Center must submit to a security screening; large bags and food are not permitted inside.

North Bowl

North Bowl Lounge ‘n’ Lanes is housed in a former auto mechanic's garage, with exposed ductwork and brick walls, and polished concrete floors. Vintage 1950’s benches flank the 17 hardwood lanes, each outfitted with glow-in-the-dark pins. There are also billiards tables and arcade games. The bar is furnished with Italian sofas and has a glass-enclosed pod that overlooks the lanes. Pub food, such as pretzel bites and chicken wings, is available, as well as more upscale fare like portabella fries with pesto aioli.

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